Height Restriction / Volum disconforme – impact upon insurance?

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    • #180915


      We have found a property of interest – a duplex (3rd and 4th floor) in a four-floor apartment building in Catalunya about 30 minutes north of Barcelona.

      We have recently been made aware that there is an urban planning restriction called a “volum disconforme” on the duplex. We are not entirely sure why – it is a way back from the primera linea, but, for whatever reason, there is one. This would prevent reconstruction if the duplex were significantly damaged (e.g., by fire, earthquake, etc.)

      Our principal concern is how the comunidad/apartment’s insurance might handle a situation if there is significant damage and reconstruction is refused by the town’s ayuntamiento. Might the insurance company refuse to pay for the loss to us because the building cannot be rebuilt to the same height? Could we reasonably expect them to reimburse us the value of the duplex regardless?

      We have reviewed the insurance policy and it doesn’t say anything on the subject, but our concern would be that we would not receive any compensation. Are we being paranoid as a foreign ‘uninformed’ buyer? Is this sort of situation common in Spain/Catalunya? Should we refrain from taking our interest further on the duplex?

      Our real estate agent seems to feel that this is not a concern (perhaps unsurprisingly) and perhaps we should mention that there are other buildings in the town- many much higher, some on the primera linea, etc., – that also have this height restriction.

      We would be very grateful for any advice/comments.
      Thank you in advance/muchas gracias por adelantado.

    • #181636
      Mark Stücklin

      MF, I’ve never come across this issue before. Have you asked an insurance broker?

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